ENVY 15t-j000 mSATA SSD + HDD fresh install, with mSATA as boot drive

Discussion in 'HP' started by bwillet, Aug 18, 2013.

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  1. bwillet

    bwillet Notebook Enthusiast

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    I was doing a lot of research, and ALMOST returned the laptop because I couldn't figure out a GOOD way to run a 256G mSATA SSD as the boot drive, plus keep the 1TB drive as a separate data drive. I could get it to work if I didn't have an HDD in there at all, or if I had the boot sector on the HDD. Neither solution was acceptable. I want to be able to yank that 1TB HDD at a moment's notice and have the system not be affected. I finally figured it out, and I thought if I was struggling with it, maybe someone else is too. Here's what I did. Note, my easy way here involves wiping ALL data from both drives... If you don't want to do this, you could always use a partition utility to manually delete just the boot partition off the HDD, and disable the "ACTIVE" flag.

    - Create a bootable USB key with your Win 8 OS on it (you can download an ISO directly from Microsoft, and the license key is embedded in the BIOS). This MUST be FAT32! UFEI will not recognize an NTFS USB boot drive. Not going to walk through the steps here, but google "bootable usb windows 8 fat32 diskpart" and you'll get a step by step tutorial. Easy.
    - Download the Intel Rapid Storage RAID drivers directly from intel, and extract them to the root of the USB key. Alternatively, you could download the drivers from the HP site and extract just the drivers, but I think it's easier to go straight to Intel.
    - Obvious step here, put your mSATA drive in the mSATA slot.
    - In the BIOS, disable secure boot, and leave legacy mode DISABLED.
    - Boot off the USB key by pressing ESC as the system powers on and choosing the appropriate boot device from the boot order menu
    - When the Windows installer can't find any drives, choose "Load Driver", and point to the root of your USB key. The Intel drivers should show up in a dialog. Choose the driver, then windows should find both of your drives.
    - You need to delete ALL partitions from both drives. This ensures the boot information is gone from the HDD.
    - Once both drives are empty with 100% unallocated space, choose the mSATA drive as your install drive, and just let Windows do its thing.
    - Once installed, you should see both drives in Explorer right away, without loading the Intel RST package.

    I've done this twice now, once on the 24G cache SSD as a test (not recommended, not enough space to really run the OS without stripping it down), and with my 256G Plextor M5M. I have also tested by removing the 1TB HDD after installation, and windows booted up just fine. I put it back in, and it was there again (although I had to reboot once). So the drives are totally separate as they should be, and I'm booting 100% off the SSD.

    Hope this helps someone!

    Also, I'm totally winging this at 4:44 in the morning while at work, so please forgive any errors...
     
  2. yjsjin

    yjsjin Notebook Guru

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    wew... how do you put the mSATA? wen i see the videos of opend up envy 15 i dont see mSATA slot. do u have to open up the whole bottom part?
     
  3. bwillet

    bwillet Notebook Enthusiast

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    Don't know about the older ones, but for the newest model, the 15t-jXXX, you open up the bottom panel (one screw), and it's right there. Super easy...
     
  4. yjsjin

    yjsjin Notebook Guru

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    hey can you tell me how u did the downloading win8 iso file and instal? where and how did u download win8 and how did u use the embedded bios key?

    im planning to instal win8 on msata also,

    i was thinking backing up the original win8 on usb thru back up, and using that to install on msata.
     
  5. drsromero

    drsromero Newbie

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    Yesterday I bought a HP ENVY TouchSmart 15-j008ss and I'd like to know if it has a ssd slot, I've never seen a real ssd. I've taken a picture of it. Could you tell me If I can add a SSD in my laptop?

    Thanks!!!!
    IMG_20130823_152811.jpg
     
  6. hendrix

    hendrix Notebook Guru

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    thanks a lot for this. I plan on doing exactly what you did, with the same mSATA.
     
  7. hendrix

    hendrix Notebook Guru

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    a little question:

    I've heard people mentioning in various threads that they had to change the SSD to AHCI? I don't actually know what this means but did you have to do this when doing a clean install or is it something that happens automatically?
     
  8. Aquitaine

    Aquitaine Notebook Evangelist

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    Every drive controller has two or three modes:

    - Legacy (not usually even there anymore - you don't want it)
    - AHCI (best mode for single drives)
    - RAID (needed for striping or mirroring - if you wanted to combine your mSATA and HD into a single logical disk)

    AHCI is usually the default for single drives so it's not a change you'd have to make unless your controller is set to RAID (which it shouldn't be without good reason). If you think you might have a RAID setup for any reason, don't mess with the setting unless you know what you're doing as deactivating RAID in the BIOS when you do actually have RAID will probably render your data unusable. But if you're formatting everything anyway, go nuts.
     
  9. minmax

    minmax Newbie

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    I bought this laptop a few weeks ago, I should have waited for the labor day sale. I only have the 24 GB mSATA SSD Cache. Can I boot from that, too?
     
  10. ffontan

    ffontan Newbie

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    I have a quick question.

    Have you run benchmarks on the Plextor SSD? I'm interested in sequential real world read and write speeds, not in advertised ones.

    I ordered the non-touch-screen version of this laptop during the labor day sale and will not take delivery of it for another week or so, and I will install an mSata SSD as soon as it arrives. (wanted to non-touchsmart because is almost a full pound lighter).

    I will be using the laptop to collect data from cameras that produced a TON of data so I need the SSD to at least be close to the 430MB/s listed spec.

    Its between this mSata drive or the Intel 525 Series one (which Tom's Hardware gave a glowing review to) but the Plextor is a good $80 cheaper (and is a 256GB Vs 240 GB for intel)
     
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